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Dognapping, or the theft of dogs, has become such a problem in the city that animal welfare organizations are warning owners to be extra-vigilant.

Over the past six to eight months, in Cape Town, the animal welfare organizations have noticed a spike in dog theft, which they relate to the bad economic times, leading people to employ desperate measures to acquire an income.

Animal Welfare Society (AWS) spokesperson Allan Perrins said there was a big demand for puppies in Cape Town and a number of incidents where street vendors were apprehended for selling animals.

“People are tempted to buy these animals on the street because they think they are doing a good thing. However, they are indirectly promoting the demand in this illegal market,” said Perrins.

Cape Animal Welfare Forum chairperson Karen De Klerk said: “Puppy selling in Cape Town has always been an issue. But the public is now far more aware that it is illegal and are taking the right steps to report sellers to law enforcement who have been supportive in helping the public and welfare organizations to respond to reports of illegal puppy selling.”

De Klerk added that as difficult as it was, the public should not buy puppies on the street because it automatically created a market.

“If everyone helps by not buying puppies on the street, we will be able to stop the trade.”

Your best method for getting a new furry friend is looking for certified humane dog rescues. The public is encouraged to contact law enforcement or SPCA to request assistance when witnessing illegal trading of animals.

Source: IOL